Greens in the Window (and helpful cats)

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I sure love greens, especially in the winter time with all the rich, heavy foods around.  I never liked greens much growing up because I only had the frozen or canned, therefore soggy, variety.  Fresh greens crisped in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees with a little olive oil and garlic is my idea of amazing food.  Added to soup, or on top of toast with barely a sauté is amazing too.  Oh, then there is folded into omelets, frittatas, and sprinkled on top of pizza.  Well, you get the point.  I still have some kale, chard, and collard greens in the garden, but they are looking a little rough this time of year.  I may cover them with straw and see if I can extend their season.  However, insurance is in the window.

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Pick up some seeds from your garden center and grow your own!  I so carefully planted a packet of spinach and one of kale in a pot and placed it on the shelf in the window covered with a zip lock bag so it could germinate greenhouse style.  (I put a five foot folding table in front of the south window then place a tiered shelf on the table to add space for more pots.)  Ichabod Crane (who loves trouble) knocked the whole pot over in his failed attempt to jump onto the shelf.  Fresh potting soil, and sadly, seeds were everywhere!  I was pretty mad, the cats hid from my yelling for awhile.  After I vacuumed the soil up, I replanted the pot with chard and lettuce and moved it to the west window away from furry monsters.

Frankie (the orange tabby) and Ichabod enjoy a lively game of chess.

Frankie (the orange tabby) and Ichabod enjoy a lively game of chess.

I loosely cover the pot with plastic of some sort, saran wrap or even a freezer bag, until the seeds germinate.  Keep the pots moist but don’t wash away the seeds!  In no time at all you will be harvesting baby greens for your meals.  That burst of chlorophyll enlivening your body.  After you get the greens going, they like water every third day or so in the house.

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To my surprise there are seedlings coming up everywhere in the south window!  In the Rosemary pot, in the tomatoes…seems greens really want to grow.  It’s easy to get your own indoor garden growing!   Just don’t let the cats help.

Harvest

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The sun came out and bounced off the crystal droplets that held fast to the plants in a great display of shimmer.  The water evaporated and the plants took a great breath of the fresh autumn air.  We headed out in sweaters with baskets to see what Mother Nature had left us.  Like Easter morning, our eyes full of wonder, searching for treasures within the rows.

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Doug deftly found the beans that we are drying for winter stews and chilies.  He filled quite a bag full.  I found rich purple and red tomatoes, bright spicy chilies, and sweet, small peppers.  Ear, after ear, after ear of corn.  The other side of the gardens yielded two gallons of Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens.  A gallon of fresh lettuce.  A bag of soybeans to eat in front of a football game boiled just right with a little sea salt and chipotle.  The last onion.  A handful of cherry tomatoes.  Spicy radishes making their second debut this year brought a spring to my step with each peppery bite.  Piles of earthy potatoes just waiting to join onions and garlic in the cast iron skillet.  And pumpkins.  I do love pumpkins.

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Through worry and work, through screwy weather and days of bliss watching the plants grow, this is truly the reward.  Seeing the rich palette of colors that start to glow and brighten the world in a majestic show.

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Happy Harvesting!